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Listen while you read: "Here O My Lord"1 (Lyrics)
Luke 4:16 – And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. (KJV)
I once saw a funny cartoon of a man with a placard that said something like "What if Jesus had died on the cross online?" I can't recollect the words exactly, but the point was that people seem to prefer online gathering to physical gathering.
In today's verse, we see that Jesus went to the synagogue "as his custom was". It's a well-known fact that He came to die for us, but it wasn't compulsory for Him to go to the synagogue. Christ made it a personal custom. He could have sat on Simon Peter's boat during the Sabbath and the multitudes would have flocked to Him for healing and the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.
Hebrews 10:25 – Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. (KJV)
There are situations that may necessitate connecting to services online, but outside of those circumstances, we should aim to make it a habit to gather together. Scripture tells us, "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (Proverbs 27:17 KJV) But if we worship God alone, how can iron sharpen iron? How can we display those Christian virtues of love, temperance, and long-suffering towards one another? How can we draw those lost in the world to the light of Christ? Faith in God cannot be just a personal thing. Service to God is to be to brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as to unbelievers.
Christians, let all who are able come out from our isolation and gather together where we can worship God in spirit and in truth. Those who are in an environment isolated from fellow believers, or where persecution is rife, can create a place of fellowship in their homes. Fellowship is important to us and to God.
Acts 2:44,46-47 – And all that believed were together, and had all things common. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (KJV)
Prayer: Father, may we find our places in the gathering of believers. Amen.
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Amen, John. So true.
Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.
Thank you, John. Your words are so true.
John – what truth you give us. Being with fellow believers is a great boost to our faith.
Thank you, John. We face the same situation in the U.S. It’s hard to get people out of their easy chairs.
John, yes! Where two or three are gathered together…
Thank you for this exhortation to make the effort to gather together.
Thank you for today’s inspiring message of truths.
Blessings, Joy, Peace,
Thanks for your good words this morning John. Yes, it is good to be socializing and sharing the Lord’s word with others, especially now that we can be together in places again. Blessings for your mindful and encouraging writing.
John – thank you so much for this devotional. Covid has fundamentally changed our world. It is sad to see that some people no longer feel the need to gather in God’s house with other Christians. Thank you for this important reminder. God Bless your continued writing.
Good morning John
To be able to meet together openly and worship God together is such a privilege and blessing, and we should be thankful to do it with so many others in the world having to go underground to worship for fear of death or jail. God bless as you continue to walk with Him.
Thanks for this timely reminder.
Because of sickness, I have not been able to attend in person, but our tech crew has made online viewing a very good alternative!
Bless you, John.
Your devotional today really resonated with me. People have been slow to return to worshipping in person at our church. Gathering for meals, except for a children’s program, has been almost non-existent since the pandemic. However, on Saturday evening our Session sponsored a small dinner for some recent newcomers to our church. I was able to talk personally to several of our new friends. I was able to find out their names, where they were from, what their vocation was, as so on. Some were from foreign countries whose names were unfamiliar and very hard to pronounce. They were very patient in teaching me how to pronounce their names and we had good laughs and conversation. Had it not been for personal meeting with each other, we would not have had the pleasure of getting to know them, at least in a small way. The next day, Sunday, I was able to greet one gentleman with the hardest name to pronounce and he was delighted that I had remembered his name and that I pronounced it properly – more good laughs.
Thank you for reminding us that we really need to gather together as best we can in person. It is how God made us.
Blessings on you,
I receive the PresbyCan devotions daily in my in-box at work. I was particularly moved by this devotion. Thank you! We are a small church in Toronto, Canada, and, like many other churches, we are struggling to get people to return to in-person worship. Your devotion captured the need to meet together in person perfectly!
I would like to include your devotion in an upcoming edition of the church newsletter. I think it will bless a number of people.
Yours in Christ,